OTR Global and Assay – Forensics meet Channel Checks

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New York – A press release yesterday from OTR Global announced that OTR had entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Assay Research LLC. The two services have no methodological overlap, but are nevertheless very complimentary.

Assay is primarily a forensic/earnings quality research provider run by a team of CPAs. As such they can peel-back the layers of a firm’s accounting practices to uncover the real financial health of the company. This is useful in the investment thesis process when investors are entering into the diligence process on a particular stock. As well, it serves as a check-up to ensure that the fundamentals of a company are not eroding. OTR Global has a team of investigative journalists worldwide that can provide channel research and uncover strengths/weaknesses within the channel and find potential inflection points in the value of a company. Together the two providers share a deep due diligence approach to analyzing companies. They cover different stages in the investment research process, both during the investment thesis stage and in assessing the ongoing vitality of existing investments.  

The agreement with Assay is another step in OTR’s overall strategy. In June of this year, OTR Global expanded research sales and trading presence in Boston. In January, Liquidnet made an investment in OTR, which reflects the two firms’ interest in working together to develop new services that Liquidnet can offer to buy-side PMs and analysts. In 2009, OTR opened an Asian research office in Shanghai to expand its focus on consumer/retail, energy and industrials in the region. More than 40 reporters across 13 Asian countries complement the 50+ team that has been conducting EMEA research out of its European office in Germany and the Americas team of more than 100 journalists. OTR was merged with OTA LLC (OTA), a registered broker-dealer in 1996 to provide a service bundling research with trading for their buy-side clients.

This distribution agreement between Assay and OTR is well-engineered in terms of the research offering that will result from the two research approaches.  We have a healthy respect for the quality of the research produced by both firms and will continue to watch OTR Global’s expansion strategy unfold.

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